Winter is here, and while Utah is best known for its 14 ski resorts including Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort, there are numerous ways for non-skiers to enjoy the state’s famous Greatest Snow on Earth®.
Here are six of the best alternative winter adventures:
Hold onto your Hat on the Olympic Bobsled: Visitors can channel their own Cool Runnings vibe by riding Utah’s Olympic Bobsled track from the 2002 Winter Games. The four-man Comet Bobsled is driven by a professional, but the other three seats are all up for grabs (priced from $175 per person). Expect an unforgettable, adrenaline-drenched experience as you shoot around 15 curves at speeds of up to 70 mph.
Tackle a Snowmobile Safari: If you like your snow with an engine between your legs, you’re spoilt for choice in Utah. Summit Meadows Adventures has 7,000 acres of snowfields to explore on a private ranch near Deer Valley Resort, while Lofty Peaks Adventures in Park City and Midway offers guided and unguided snowmobile tours across the spectacular Heber Valley. In northern Utah, just under two hours from Salt Lake City, the Hardware Ranch, Monte Cristo and Logan Canyon snowmobile complexes are grouped together offering 180 miles of snowmobiling bliss.
Embrace Fat Biking: A brilliant way to explore Utah’s beautiful back country while working up a healthy sweat, fat biking – off-road cycling with oversized, under-inflated tyres – means riders can comfortably handle softer, more unstable terrain like snow. To try this on-trend activity, head to Powder Mountain Resort in northern Utah – home of America’s Fat Bike National Championships no less.
Ride the Tube: Fun for all the family, ‘tubing’ involves sliding down specially-prepared ice-alleys on inflatable rings. Soldier Hollow in Wasatch Mountain State Park offers the longest tubing lanes in Utah, at 1,200 ft. Plus a dedicated lift means you can be back at the top again and ready for another ride in a flash.
Set Off on Snowshoes: A perfect way to embrace the serenity of the mountains – and the pockets of deep, untouched snow far from the major ski runs – snowshoeing is the mindful answer to modern ski holidays. Plus it’s an excellent workout. Conditions are perfect at Solitude Mountain Resort, where you can hire snowshoes for yourself or sign up for a guided tour, or at Sundance Mountain Resort, which has six miles of terrain dedicated to snowshoeing. If you’re looking to snowshoe through snow-dusted red rock, Ruby’s Inn near Bryce Canyon National Park accesses 19 miles of groomed trails and stunning views.
Get Your (Olympic) Skates On: Since the 2002 Winter Olympics, the Salt Lake Valley is also officially home to the ‘Fastest Ice on Earth’ at the Utah Olympic Oval, just 25 minutes’ drive from downtown. Still a competitive arena, it also hosts regular public skating sessions. Plus if you want to learn your own Olympic-style moves, you can book lessons from the professionals too.